Scientology and the Substantive Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Comparative Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Functional Definition of Religion

Scientology and the Analytical Definition of Religion

Sharing a Body of Doctrine

Participation in Rituals and Acts of Devotion

Direct Experience of Ultimate Reality

Religious Knowledge

Consequences in Quotidian Life

Scientology and the Emic Definitions of Religions


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The Church of Scientology expects that its adherents become religious persons, in the sense which the analytical definitions of religion give to this term. In effect: It provides an inter-related system of beliefs so that its adherents may share its principal doctrines and expects that they will participate in ritual activities, achieving a direct experience of ultimate reality, acquire information about the principles of their faith and experience results in their everyday lives. Therefore per the analytical definitions of religion, the Church of Scientology constitutes a religious institution, since its expectations with respect to its adherents correspond to what such institutions expect of religious people.

Finally, adopting an emic point of view, it is observed that Scientology is considered a religion in most of the cultural contexts where it has carried out its activities, including the pronouncements of governmental institutions, of the members of the Church and of social scientists who have studied new religious movements.

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